Air Force: Cleanup Fund Reduction Is Normal Budget Variation
The U.S. Air Force will host a public meeting Thursday night about the cleanup of a decades-old jet fuel spill north of Kirtland Air Force Base. Military officials say the cleanup is proceeding as planned, despite a reported reduction in the project budget this year.
The Air Force did not provide a budget breakdown by air time despite repeated requests, but in a meeting of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority last week, Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Correll said they simply adjust their budget each year to meet the requirements of the project.
“That will result in fluctuations up and down," said Correll, "but that’s not the same as a reduction, where we say, ‘we were planning to spend X and now we can only spend Y.’ So I see no impact to our ability to resource this cleanup.”
The Air Force has been sampling drinking water wells monthly for years, said Correll, and has not found any contamination there. He said they’ve treated over 600 million gallons of groundwater to remove small amounts of harmful fuel compounds, and will continue to do so for years to come.
The public meeting will be Thursday, April 25, at the African American Performing Arts Center in Albuquerque, from 6 - 7:30pm.
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Correction: This story has been changed to reflect that the Air Force hosted the public meeting, as required by law. As the regulator for the project, the New Mexico Environment Department was an invitee.
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